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Story Time: Gus Was a Friendly Ghost


Story Time Crafts and Activities for Gus Was a Friendly Ghost

Let’s go old school on the Story Time today with Gus Was a Friendly Ghost by Jane Thayer, a gem from my childhood.  For me, if you’re going ghost story, nothing quite compares with this warm-hearted story of friendship and the simple but imaginative illustrations by Seymour Fleischman.


Gus Was a Friendly Ghost activities, crafts, and recipes for fun reading time

Gus Was a Friendly Ghost Activities

All of these activities are simple enough and fun enough to entertain kids of all ages. So grab a copy of Gus, read the sweet story, and entertain the whole house for a couple of hours.


Here is a free printable writing prompt where your kids can write their own ghost story.

Free printable ghost story writing prompt for kids


There are a couple of really fun and simple experiments you can do with ghosts that your kiddos will absolutely love, because they both seem like magic. Choose one or both and watch their faces light up with wonder.

Vinegar and Baking Soda Ghost Balloon

Baking soda and vinegar ghost balloon is a fun science project to do as a Gus Was a Friendly Ghost activity

What you need:

  • Empty water or soda bottle
  • White Balloon
  • Black Marker
  • Funnel
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp baking soda

What you do:

  • Draw ghost eyes and mouth on balloon with black marker
  • Use funnel to fill balloon with the baking soda
  • Use the funnel to fill bottle with vinegar
  • Holding the balloon so that the baking soda won’t spill, stretch the neck over the mouth of the bottle
  • Pull as much of the neck over the bottle mouth as possible to support the balloon as it stands up
  • Shake the baking soda down into the bottle quickly
  • Watch the chemical reaction blow up the balloon

Static Electricity Ghost

Static Electricity Ghost is a fun science project to do as a Gus Was a Friendly Ghost activity

What you need:

  • White tissue paper
  • Black marker
  • Tape
  • Inflated balloon

What you do:

  • Cut ghost shape out of tissue paper
  • Use marker to add eyes and a mouth
  • Tape the bottom of your ghost to the floor
  • Rub the balloon on your hair or a sweater to build up static electricty
  • Move the balloon over top the ghost and watch the static make the ghost appear to rise up and dance



Tootsie Pop Ghost

What you need:

What you do:

  • Place sucker in center of tissue and drape tissue over top while holding the stick
  • Tie ribbon around top of stick at base of sucker
  • Draw eyes and mouth with marker

Mini Hanging Ghosts

What you need:

  • 1” or2” Styrofoam ball
  • 8” x 8” square tissue paper or cheesecloth (looks especially spooky)
  • School Glue
  • Google eyes
  • 8” embroidery thread, any color

What you do:


  • Cover top half of ball with glued
  • Place, glue side down, in center of tissue paper


  • Fold tissue paper around ball so ends drape around it


  • Glue google eyes on for a face


  • Use a needle to pull embroidery thread through top of ball. Tie thread in a knot. Cut off excess.

Mini Hanging Ghost craft is one of many Gus Was a Friendly Ghost activities for the picture book

Hang your ghost wherever he makes you happy. Or tie him to the handlebars of your bike and watch him float along with you as you ride.

Felt Gus the Ghost


What you need:

What you do:

  • Print and cut out the template
  • Trace template onto felt and cut out
  • Use marker to make dash lines all around Gus about 1/4″ in from edge
  • Draw hands and mouth with marker
  •   Glue on googly eyes


You should totally have some yummy brownies with ghosts on top.

Recipe for Ghost Brownies to accompany Gus Was a Friendly Ghost activities

Ghost Brownies

What you need: 

For the brownies: 

  • 1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 cup)
  • 6 oz dark chocolate, broken into small cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 2 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)

For the meringue ghosts:

  •  3 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1⁄4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3/4 sugar
  • black writing icing

What you do: 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Butter and lightly flour an 8-inch square pan.  Line the bottom of the pan with wax paper, then butter and flour the paper.
  • In a saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate with the butter, stirring to blend.
  • Remove from heat.  Stir in sugar, egg, salt, flour, walnuts, and vanilla.
  • Spread in prepared pan.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes in pan, then turn out onto a rack and peel the wax paper off the back.  Cut into squares.
  • To make the meringue ghosts, place the egg whites in a large, clean, grease-free bowl and whisk with electric beaters until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue whisking until the mixture forms soft peaks. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking after each addition, until you have a smooth, thick, glossy mixture.
  • Heat the oven to 250 F. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment. Spoon the meringue mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle
  • Pipe small mounds of meringue on to the baking sheets (you might get more than 12, but extras can be saved and used later). Bake for 1 hour 30minutes,untilcrispanddrytothetouch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  •  When cool, use the black writing icing to draw eyes and a mouth on each. Top each brownie with a meringue ghost to serve.

Banana Ghosts

banana ghosts

What you need:

  • Bananas
  • semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

What you do:

  • Peel bananas, keeping ends intact. cut in half.
  • Press the point of a chocolate chip into the center of the top of a banana half (the mouth).
  • Press the points of 2 mini chocolate chips above the mouth for eyes.


Ghost Hunter

This is a fun take on a scavenger hunt. You can use a ghost you’ve made from the Art/crafts section of this post or a ghost decoration you already have. Here are the rules:

  • Decide on a ghost hunter agency name
  • Discuss who and how the ghost is haunting
  • Have mama or dada hide the ghost
  • Littles ask mama or dada 20 yes or no questions about where the ghost might be such as:
    • Does the ghost like toys?
    • What does the ghost eat?
    • Does the ghost wear grown up clothes or little clothes?
  • When the littles have figured out which room the ghost is in, the questions can get more specific until they finally find the ghost.

If that doesn’t help you spend a whole spooky, Halloween-y, ghosty day with your awesome kiddos, then I don’t know what!

Have fun!

Looking for more Halloween fun? Check out:

Story Time: Room on the Broom-Crafts and activities for the picture book

Story Time: Room on the Broom

27 Halloween Reads for Teens and Tweens

Story Time: Goodnight Goon - Crafts, actvities, printables, and a recipe to go with the Halloween picture book

Story Time: Goodnight Goon

Story Time: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything - Crafts and activities to go with the picture book

Story Time: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

Story Time: The Littlest Pumpkin - Crafts and activities from Lit Mama Homeschool

Story Time: The Littlest Pumpkin


KT Brison
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About KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys. Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
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